Scholarships and Creative Writing Prizes

Thanks to the help of generous donors, the English program is able to offer a number of scholarships and prizes to recognize the achievements of our students. Each spring, the English Program Scholarship Committee solicits nominations from faculty and self-nominations from students. Winners are recognized at the annual CAHSS Awards Ceremony.

English Program Scholarships

Below you will find descriptions of the scholarships offered by the English program. Students who are nominated for scholarships should submit:

  • a writing sample (5-20 pages of original work completed in a UMD course; it can be expository or creative)
  • personal statement that describes distinguished achievements, states academic goals, and most convincingly demonstrates a commitment to the study of literature; if applicable, statements should also address financial need
  • letter of recommendation
  • a transcript

Questions about the application process should be directed to your advisor or to the Scholarship Committee.

Joseph Duncan Scholarship: Established in 1985, the Joseph Duncan Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding junior or senior English major. Applicants must be full-time and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.  This award seeks to recognize students with documented need and merit and a demonstrated interest in the study of literature.

The Slonim Memorial Scholarship: The Slonim Memorial Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding English major who has declared an English major and will be beginning her/his senior year. The application should convince the committee of the student’s scholarly excellence and professional promise and evidence which demonstrates that her/his resources are inadequate to meet the costs of the senior year. 

The Ann H. and Alfred Hartley Scholarship: Alfred Hartley created the Ann H. Hartley Scholarship in honor of his wife Ann's lifelong interest in the English Language and Literature.  This scholarship is awarded to a full-time English major in her/his junior or senior year with good academic standing. Winners will demonstrate need and merit and an interest in literature.

The Reed Scholarship: John Reed, English professor at Wayne State U and a UMD alumnus (class of 1959), created the John and Ruth Reed Scholarship for a student of English in honor of himself and his now deceased wife, Ruth, a graduate of Hope College. This scholarship is awarded to a full time English major or minor with a of 3.0 or higher.

The William M. Crockett Scholarship: Established in 2012, the William M. Crockett Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding English major with demonstrated financial need.

Teaching Communication Arts and Literature Scholarship:

The Anna Lee (Stensland) Lidberg Scholarship: The Anna Lee (Stensland) Lidberg Scholarship recognizes an exemplary future middle or high school English teacher and supports them during their semester of full-time student teaching. The family of Anna Lee (Stensland) Lidberg created the scholarship in honor of Professor Stensland's devotion to students and education. 

Writing Prizes and Scholarship:

Below you will find descriptions of the Writing Prizes and Scholarship. Applicants for the Mike Lenz Creative Writing Prize and Scholarship should note the following requirements:

  • Entries may consist of one or more pieces of prose fiction, creative non-fiction, an extended poem or group of poems, or a play.
  • Prose entries should be between 5-15 pages in length; a group of poems should be between 3 and 5 pages in length; plays should present an action that can be performed in 15 minutes or less.
  • Entries should be word-processed and properly formatted (double-spaced, printed only one side of the page).
  • Only one entry per student is allowed.
  • All full-time students at UMD with good academic standing are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants should specify the writing contest for which they are applying and include their name and contact information (including an email address)

The Mike Lenz Creative Writing Prize: Named in honor of former UMD English major Mike Lenz, this prize recognizes the best original work of imaginative literature—narrative, dramatic, or lyric— in prose or poetry. The winner of the Mike Lenz Creative Writing Prize will receive an award of $100.

The Mike Lenz Creative Writing Scholarship: Named in honor of former UMD English major Mike Lenz, this scholarship is awarded to the student who submits the best original work of imaginative literature—narrative, dramatic, or lyric—in prose or in verse. In addition to the materials listed above, applicants should include a statement about their degree completion plans and their anticipated financial need for the following school year. The winner of the Mike Lenz Scholarship will receive an award of $500.

The Lawrence Wright Essay Prize: Named for a late professor in the UMD English Department, this prize is awarded for the best original critical or analytical essay written by a declared English or Communication Arts Major in UMD’s BA or BAA program on a topic in linguistics, literature, or teaching methods. Wright entries should be 3,000-5,000 words (10-15 pages) in length, word-processed and double-spaced on one side of the page. Manuscript form and documentation should follow a standard scholarly citation format—MLA, Chicago, or APA. Only one entry per student is permitted. The winner of the Lawrence Wright Essay prize will receive an award of $100.

The Jankofsky Essay Prize: Since 1999, the Klaus P. Jankofsky Fund for Medieval and Renaissance Studies has supported an annual lecture by a notable scholar of Medieval or Renaissance Studies and an essay competition, in which a $250 prize is awarded to the best student essay on any topic in Medieval and/or Renaissance Studies (roughly AD 350-1660, including History, Art History, English, Foreign Languages, Linguistics, etc.) by a UMD student. The Committee will select winners based on the strength and presentation of the argument, as well as originality of research, where appropriate. A prize of $250 will be awarded to the best essay, which will be published in a booklet also funded by our anonymous donor and dedicated to the memory of Professor Jankofsky and the student-scholars who carry on his intellectual legacy. Any UMD student may compete in the contest. The winner is announced at the Jankofsky Lecture in the spring.